Toddler Upholstered Bed

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A cute simple project that uses a standard crib mattress to create both a seating and sleeping surface in your child's room. This daybed is easy to build and inexpensive.

Fits Standard Crib/Toddler Mattress


Shopping List

3 Yards of Batting, 60″ wide (double up on the headrest)
2 Yards of fabric, 60″ wide and sewing notions
1 – Sheet of 1/2 Plywood (can be OSB, cheap stuff works just fine!)
5 – 2×2 Boards
1 – 1×3
1 – 10′ 1×6 Board
1 – 2×6 Board (Stud Length or 8′ Length)
2 1/2″ Screws
2″ Screws
Staples (1/2″)

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

Cut List for Bed Frame and Side Rails

2 – 2×2 @ 52″ (Frame Sides)
7 – 2×2 @ 25″ (Frame Slats)
2 – 2×2 @ 9″ (Front Legs)
2 – 1×6 @ 28″ (Siderails)
1 – 1×6 @ 54″ (Measure to fit, front rail)

Cut List for Headboard

2 – 2×2 @ 29″ (Headboard Legs)
1 – 2×2 @ 49″ (Headboard Top Frame)
1 – 2×6 @ 49″ (Headboard Bottom Frame)
2- 1/2″ Plywood @ 23 1/2″ x 52″ (Panel)
2 – 1×3 @ 23 1/2″ (Side Trim)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Staple Gun


Step 1

Bed Frame. Like all of our projects, this one is no different in that we start with a “box” and trim it out. Use 2 1/2″ screws to build the frame above. The space doesn’t have to be exact, and you could actually add more slats if you wanted to (for example you are concerned about your kids jumping on the bed).

Step 2

Legs. Use 2 1/2″ screws to screw the legs to the frame on the front two corners, as shown above.

Step 3

Siderails. First cover your siderails with batting, stapling in place. Then cover with fabric, stapling in place from the inside of the siderail to hide your staples. Fasten to the end slats, keeping ends flush but leaving 1/2″ gap on the top to keep your mattress from sliding off. Make sure your screws grip the wood of the siderails.

Step 4

Front Rails. Upholster the front rail as you did in the previous step and attach with 2″ screws to the front of the bed frame. Don’t forget to fasten to the legs, too.

Step 5

Step 6

Panel. Use 2″ screws or nails to the frame, as shown here. Square up your headboard first. Keep outside edges flush.

Step 7

Sides of Headboard. Finish the sides of the headboard by adding the 1x3s to the sides, as shown above. This also give you a clean spot to fold your fabric under and staple.

Step 8

Upholstering. Cover the headboard in batting, as shown above. Staple in place and trim if necessary. Then neatly cover with fabric, carefully hiding your staples on the bottom edge. You may wish to instead sew a slipcover.

Step 9

Assembly. Using a level, line the bed frame up with the headboard. Then use the 2 1/2″ screws to fasten through the back frame board directly into the headboard. Remember, we used a 2×6 for this very purpose.

Finishing Instructions
Finish Used
You may wish to finish any exposed wood on the legs.


Lacey from Wee… (not verified)

Sun, 04/11/2010 - 20:47

So cute! Do you have this plan for adult sized beds as well?

Zack Abd (not verified)

Sun, 04/11/2010 - 20:55

wow..this is so cool! and i love ANYTHING PINK! hee hee..

after showing my husband your blog, he even said he would love to make a media rack for the TV, taken from your plans..and he even said something about making a sofa?!

seeing this, I'm starting to get an idea of how we might just be able to pull that off!

great work on the upholstering too :D

Karla (not verified)

Sun, 04/11/2010 - 21:15

Great timing! I don't have a toddler, but I'm going to use this as inspiration for the twin-sized daybeds for my guest room. :) Perfect! Grace's room is adorable! And I'm stealing your pancake recipe. Too bad I failed to pick enough blueberries last year, and I'm already out. :(

aklatina (not verified)

Sun, 04/11/2010 - 21:48

AWW! that is sooo cute!!!! Id love to make one of these! maybe a twin for the guest as someone else said. would be oh so cute!! what a neat idea to use the curtains!

Kay (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 01:23

That is too cute! And I happen to have a toddler in need of a bed.... thanks so much for all you share so freely :)

Joy (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 01:25

I love that, unlike most toddler beds, this one can still be used as a little sofa when your daughter needs to move to a bigger bed.

Amber (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 01:56

What an adorable room! I love the fabric/curtians you decided to use!

Hi I'm Amy, (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 02:42

I Can't even begin to tell you how much I am in love with this toddler bed! It is super sweet. I have a 2 year old that will eventually need a bed... (Try to keep her in the crib as long as I can it makes nap time easier)

But this is the bed that we will make her when she is ready for that next step.... I love that you re used The curtains. And also the crib mattress... It always seems a shame to me that they just sit unused .... Love it. Great Job.

J. (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 03:30

So cute!!!
I wonder if people have any idea the amount of time and work it takes to produce a post like this.
You rock :)

Paula Porter (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 04:08

Love it!!! Thank you Ana for the fantablous inspiration!!!
BTW.....We have the same PB quilt for my youngest! :)

gkey (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 04:34

dear One thing leads to another,
My 12 yr old daughter has been talking about a day bed instead of the extra twin size bed in her room. It appears we could do some adapting and have just what she wants without having to go shop for one. Also, in our 'library-guest-room' would be a perfect way to have it only a 'bedroom' when we need it.
another admirer of all you do
AND esp. of the fabrics/colors/style used in Graces room.

Erinyay (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 05:08

" This is why I have not done a mirrored finish on furniture, because I'm not sponsored by Windex."

You are too funny!

I was Googling "build couch" yesterday- this is a very opportune plan! Thank you!

Odile (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 06:59

LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I was going to buy some "pull out chairs to a bed" for my sons room so when he have sleepovers, there will be enough room for everyone, but this is way better! Thanks so much for the "how to" and plans!! You rock!

lanisanford (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 07:07

this is gorgeous! I planned to make the farmhouse bed but I am gonna make this one now. Too bad I can't just run out and buy the fabric. Have to order here in SE. I'm thinking the headboard would look great tufted.

Nicole (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 07:48

Ana! this is great! I love it and want to make it for my daughter. But twin sized and with a trundle. Oh the ideas your site gives me. Thanks for your time!

mrs. c (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 08:39

So cute, what little girl would not love this "grown-up" bed!

GreenerLinen (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 08:47

I was just trying to figure out if I could do something similar to this with your 'trundle bed' plans! I've built the trundle I which I'm going to upholster, then I was going to build and attach an upholstered headboard for the back, and then I thinking I could build two of your 'spa benches' and upholster them to add as 'couch arms'. I'm still a little bit concerned what the weight limit would be for an adult version if I used this as a couch and ended up with 4 grown ups sitting on it... The legs on this don't seem like they would support many grown-ups...

rachel (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 09:46

This bed is beautiful! It may be the first project I tackle once we move to a bigger space. Thank you so much for taking the time to write these plans and share them with us. I've already bookmarked a bunch of projects that I want to try.

famr_4evr (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 10:33

Wow!! Too bad we are past the toddler bed stage. But I'm thinking that I could do something like this for DD age 17. Now to get thinking...

Michaela (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 12:44

Amazing post! I'm going to adapt these plans to make one of these:

Your blog is a true inspiration. I feel as though there is so much possibility and creative potential in me that I didn't know was there before!

Thank you for all your hard work and effort!

craftpriestess (not verified)

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 16:58

um er, i can't seem to link to the plans for grace's bed. i would love to take this on, and use it as a low, deep sofa for entertaining.

dcvs (not verified)

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 05:15

Love your daughter's bed. I'm still hoping for plans for the upholstered bed your sister built. Would really like to built one like hers!

Elin (not verified)

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 06:56

I love this bed! And that Waverly fabric from I bought all that was left on Friday when it went on sale. We are wallpapering my daughter's nursery in it (above the wainscoating)!!! Once she outgrows her cake this upholstered bed with the remnants!

Reldon and Jessica (not verified)

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 16:48

AGGHHHH we just cut the wood for the farmhouse toddler bed and now I want this adorable beauty hmmm maybe for the next one.

Deenie (not verified)

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 17:09

Any chance of getting the measurements for a twin daybed for this?

Crazy Bailey's (not verified)

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 18:57

LOVE IT! I'm with the above poster...would you ever have the time to do twin plans? We appreciate you! This would be my first project but I have to make it twin and I am not sure I could figure it out right...Thanks!

Life in Rehab (not verified)

Wed, 04/14/2010 - 07:38


My mother is coming to live with me (in the middle of all of our reconstruction), and until I get her quarters finished, she'll be sleeping in the Florida room. I needed a couch that would double as a bed, and I really wasn't ready to splurge for something new. This is perfect! You just saved my life! I'll be adjusting your measurements this afternoon...unless you have full sized plans coming?

MOgirl (not verified)

Wed, 04/21/2010 - 16:50

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE post twin size plans! I need a bed for my new apartment, and this would be SO perfect! THANK YOU!st

Wendy (not verified)

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 12:33

I LOVE this! I think it will be my first Knock Off Wood project! The only thing that would make it better is if you could life the mattress and find storage bins underneath. Any idea on how to do that? You could hide them from the outside by putting a dust ruffle type thingie along the bottom edge. Like what most couches have, you know what I mean. I sew, so I could figure that out.

Wendy (not verified)

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 12:33

I LOVE this! I think it will be my first Knock Off Wood project! The only thing that would make it better is if you could life the mattress and find storage bins underneath. Any idea on how to do that? You could hide them from the outside by putting a dust ruffle type thingie along the bottom edge. Like what most couches have, you know what I mean. I sew, so I could figure that out.

carolyn jardin… (not verified)

Tue, 06/01/2010 - 06:40

Wow! This is perfect! I'm planning to re-use an existing (and not so pretty) Ikea full-sized headboard attached to this frame. Thanks for posting so many detailed plans. You ROCK!

cristina (not verified)

Sat, 06/05/2010 - 07:07

This is Cristina's husband. We just built these and they look great. I hope to post pics soon. Some notes that might help others:

1) we built these for our twins and if anyone else does the same you will only need ONE 2x6 to complete both beds. There was another piece of lumber that I only needed one of, but I can't remember which it was. It might have been the 1x3.

2) we have a daughter who bangs around a lot, so instead of two layers of batting on the headboard we did 1 layer of batting and one layer of 2" foam. However, we made a mistake the first time through by covering the whole front of the headboard with foam. It soon became clear that would not work as it would interfere with the attachment of the slats. Then we tried cutting the foam back to the joint with the slats. That also did not work as it pushed the mattress out too far, so we cut it even higher so that foam only covered the area of the headboard not covered by the mattress. I hope that makes sense.

3) Finally, some alterations with the screws: a) We found when we used 2" screws for attaching the side/front rails that the rails just tore right off. We then tried the 2 1/2" screws, but they went all the way through the upholstery. So we had to get 2 1/4" wood screws. They were expensive, but they worked great. b) When we considered the aggressive style of play that our twins enjoy, we felt like using the 2 1/2" screws to attach the slats to the headboard would not provide the stability we would need. We used 3 1/2" instead so that the screw would go through the 2x2 and the MDF to reach the 2x6. That helped a lot.

Hope this helps anyone who tackles the project! And thanks, Ana. This was a lot of fun. I've caught the bug and will tackle the apothecary table next. Fingers crossed.

Christina (not verified)

Fri, 06/25/2010 - 03:44

Awesome plans! I just built one yesterday for my son! I posted my pictures to the brag board! Take a look! I love your site and check it every morning as my morning routine! Thank you so much!

kelli (not verified)

Fri, 08/13/2010 - 12:28

i'm gonna make this. thank you so much for the plans and the confidence! i would have never tried (i doubt) without it. we will also soon need the bunkbed plans too for the boys. i will definately post pics as i will be so proud :)


teewonk (not verified)

Mon, 09/06/2010 - 14:27

My husband and I finished this lovely bed for our 20 month-old today. See pictures from the work in progress at We are very pleased! Best lesson learned: if this is your first project, it will take you longer than it took Ana. Also, we were unable to find 2x2 boards at our local Home Depot, so we had to adjust some measurements to account for the 2x3s we were using.